52Under2: Demons at Deadnight by A&E Kirk

The book I am reviewing this week for 52Under2 is Demons at Deadnight by A & E Kirk, a mother-daughter writing duo.  It is about 93000 words long and is available on Smashwords for $2.99.

Congratulations to A & E Kirk on the release of their novel.

Demons at Deadnight is the story of Aurora, a girl who has just moved back to her childhood hometown after a traumatic attack. She has a unique ability – the ability to sense demons – that leads to her having to fight them off at every turn. Then the Hex Boys turn up to ‘help’, though their help is often more of a hinderance.

Once I got into it, I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I say ‘once I got into it’ because I found the first act a struggle to read. It starts well, with an action-packed scene, but then becomes both a little repetitive and a little confusing.

Repetitive because almost all of the occurances follw this pattern: Aurora wanders off alone, Aurora gets attacked by demons (or teenaged boys), she gets saved – usually by Hex Boy or Boys.

Confusing because when they were all being introduced I found the various different Hex Boys difficult to keep straight, probably because new characters were being thrown at me thick and fast with little chance to differentiate them without detracting from the pace of the action.

However, once things slowed down a bit the different personalities of the Hex Boys began to come through, though I felt three were more strongly drawn than the others: the love interest, the minor antagonist, the comic relief. Other characters that were well done were the irritating younger siblings – as an older sister myself I identified with that character dynamic.

Aurora’s point of view and voice is very well done. Though there is one hacky moment where the authors want to have a character make a wisecrack in a location that the narrator has just left and have her imagining it happening. Hmmm. Didn’t work for me. But overall the voice is distinctive, conversational and easy to read.

Now that I’ve got my head around all the characters and it is clearer what’s going on, I’d be interested to read the next book in the series. Quite a few tantalising series plot threads were started in this book to set up things that will play out later.

Overall, I’d give this book 4 out of 5.

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